Online criticism erupted over an inflammatory sign barring Japanese, Vietnamese and Filipinos from a restaurant in a popular tourist spot in Beijing, in an apparent show of Chinese sentiment towards nations challenging its claims over disputed islands in the region.

“This shop does not receive the Japanese, the Philippines, the Vietnamese and dogs,” read the sign posted on the door of Beijing Snacks restaurant near the Forbidden City.

Photographs of the controversial sign have gone viral on the Internet, triggering outrage among Vietnamese and Filipinos in social networking sites and news websites, reports AFP.

Vietnam’s state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper said on its website the sign was another example of Chinese “extreme nationalism that deserves to be condemned”.

“It’s not patriotism, it’s stupid extremism,” Sy Van wrote in a comment under the story on the paper’s website.

“This is teaching hate to the younger generation,” Andrea Wanderer posted in her Facebook page. Chung Pham, another Facebook user, said “The owner of the restaurant has obviously been brainwashed by their government.”

Veronica Pedrosa, a journalist, described it as “blatant racism”.

The owner of the restaurant, identified only by his surname as Wang, said the Chinese government was not involved. “This is my own conduct,” he told AFP.

Philippine Foreign Department spokesman Raul Hernandez said on Wednesday that the sign was simply one “private view” of the maritime dispute between China and its neighbors.